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Nervosa

While visiting Summerrock I had the chance to sit down with Fernanda (bass & vocals) and Prika (guitar & backing vocals) of the Brazilian thrash metal band Nervosa. The interview had to be postponed by half an hour because of difficulties with the car transporting the band from the hotel to the venue. At their arrival they were rushed in to meet with me after a quick brainstorm with the promo manager on how to re-arrange the busy interview schedule of the day.

The first thing I wanted to ask you – especially with the way you arrived here – I saw your touring schedule is insanely intense. You’re on the road until half of October. You have circumstances like this probably daily. How do you cope with that all the time?
Fernanda: It’s kind of normal when you are on the road. We love being on the road, so when we start touring we already know the kind of things we have to deal with. We are ready for a crazy schedule, poor eating, poor sleeping and everything. And it’s a part of the job, you know. It’s a part of the business. Whenever we book a tour we are super ready for everything. Of course sometimes some stuff happens. And touring Europe and the US is like super cool compared to when you tour South America, where it is a little bit more underground. So when we tour here it is super good. These are all professionals.
Prika: We love this and for us it’s like a dream come true. We want to stay on the road all the time.

If my research is correct this is your third show in Belgium. Do you keep track yourselves?
Fernanda: Yeah, I think we played [Metal] Méan… and Ostend [Jeugdhuis OHK]! So yeah, this is our third show.

What are your memories of Belgium so far?
Fernanda: yeah, the best possible actually. This show at Méan was like one of the most awesome dates we had on the last tour. Because our brothers from Krisiun, another Brazilian band, were playing there. And then Sodom was there too. So we spent the whole afternoon having an alcoholic picknick with our brothers from Krisiun (laughter). And then we were all kind of drunk…
Prika: very drunk!
Fernanda: and watched Sodom from the stage. We fucking love Sodom. And then the guitarist, Bernemann, came to us while playing. He knew the band and after the gig we were having a lot of fun all the three bands together. It was one of the best days. And of course our gig was awesome there. We had a lot of fun. We were nearly the first band who played there and it was fucking kick-ass. It was really really cool. Ostend was the last show of the leg of the tour we did of with Hirax and it was cool. We partied a lot after that. We drank – I drank a lot of wine! Our drummer had a lot of Belgian beer (laughter). I really hope I have some more awesome memories from Belgium from tonight. I’m pretty sure we will. We have another Brazilian band playing here tonight [Woslom] so I foresee we will have good memories from tonight.

You mentioned that on Metal Méan you were the first on the line-up. Today you are the second to last, only before Ancient Rites. How is it to see yourself growing on the line-up?
Fernanda: it’s awesome. We are a very hard working band. Of course when we work this hard, we expect some result too. We expect the band getting bigger. But what surprises me is how fast stuff is going on with us, you know? It’s only the second album and we are playing cool festivals for a lot of people. That’s so cool! We work hard, but when it happens that we get booked on these festivals, we still are kind of surprised. It’s cool, it’s the best feeling.
Prika: Yeah, we are a new band. This is amazing. We don’t have any bad things to say about this. This is a dream come true. I know, I say this all the time! (laughter)

I wanted to congratulate you as well because the new album ‘Agony’ came out yesterday. I managed to listen to it at work in secret in between my clients. We already shared the review of it. I can tell you my colleague [Vaim] was very positive and enthusiastic. Did you get some feedback already from other reviews?
Fernanda: The reviews I had time to read were all great. They were saying exactly what we expected to hear. You know, ‘a step forward from the last album’, ‘more technical’, and all that. That’s how we wanted it to be and to have this feedback is awesome. And also where we’ve been playing everyone is saying it’s pretty cool. I got 100% positive feedback so far. Everyone in the band really enjoyed that. I’m not saying that to flatter ourselves but it’s actually true. And again, I got surprised. We worked hard on it and I expected to have a good outcome out of it, but it’s even better than that. Everyone really enjoyed the album, we couldn’t be any happier!

I wanted to ask you a question about the lyrics video of ‘Intolerance Means War’. You could say it deals with a typical subject of the thrash genre, but I was wondering: were you inspired by the world as a whole or more by the situation in your own country Brazil? Because I know some things are not going so well over there…
Fernanda: When I wrote the lyrics for the song ‘Intolerance Means War’ of course most of it comes from Brazil. Most of our lyrics actually come from what we have lived through in Brazil, but this one specifically, when I wrote it I was thinking of society in a global way. Because I think intolerance is a root of evil everywhere. Not only in Brazil. You have religious intolerance, cultural intolerance, sexual intolerance, racial intolerance, … everywhere! We watch news everyday with something related to that. So I think society is completely chaotic in a general way and that’s what I wrote about, not specifically Brazil. Other lyrics are specifically about Brazil, but I think they can fit to other countries’ realities too. But so this one is about the fucked up society in general.

About another video for ‘Death’ [see below], which came from your previous album ‘Victim of Yourself’, I read that it was handpicked by you. That you decided you wanted a video for it and that you developed the whole concept of the video. Are you still getting that much freedom from Napalm Records to make your own decisions and selections for this?
Prika: Yeah yeah, it’s our decision. Napalm Records helps us and is always asking us ‘What do you think about this?’. The final decision is always ours.

Because especially when bands keep touring longer and they have more albums out, after a while companies try to make it a money making machine and the band does not get to take the decisions anymore. I was wondering how that will go for you guys.
Fernanda: I think if it ever reached to this point we wouldn’t like that. Of course advice of people who deal with these kind of situations every time – they are professionals in this area – will always be precious and enrich the band in many ways. But if it ever gets to this point where we’re just a selling machine, we wouldn’t like that. Because it’s our band, we would never change it. I think we would be stepping up. But I don’t think they would ever do that. They had their chance on the beginning where they can shape the band to what they had in mind. But this didn’t happen.

It’s cool that I have the two of you here in front of me, because I was reading through your biographies on your website and both of you said that your father was a big inspiration for you. So I was curious how it was for you two growing up. I don’t know if your fathers listen to metal as well, but how was it for them to see their little girls playing music and then suddenly starting to play harder styles of music. How did your dads look at that?
Prika: For my father it’s different because he does not like this kind of music. Absolutely not. And he told me ‘You can’t play your guitar like this, it will be so bad for your ears’. And I was like ‘yeah whatever’ (laughter). I wanted to do this, I needed to do this. My father played acoustic guitars, but my mom listened to rock, so both of them are influences for me.
Fernanda: As for my dad it’s kind of obvious because he is a metalhead. He is a complete metalhead.
Prika: Yeah he is, show him the list. She is buying some CDs for him.
(Fernanda takes out a paper filled top to bottom with a list of albums)
Fernanda: he wrote me this list with albums that are rare in Brazil, you see? There is like Candlemass, Dark Angel, Queensrÿche, Slayer, … He wants me to buy these for him.

I think I see… (going over the list) This is the British Tank, but it’s not the French T.A.N.K. that’s playing today at Summerrock.
Fernanda: Yeah I know, otherwise he would be having a heart attack (laughter). But my dad is super happy for me. He’s always been a metalhead, even before I was born. So he’s projecting on me what he wanted to do. I was texting with him yesterday and I told him at the hotel ‘Dad, I just got your CDs’ and he was like ‘Oh you fucking saved my life, again’ (laughter). And then also in Brazil there was a picture of me in a special edition of Girls in Metal, this roadie crew magazine we have there. My dad got all emotional, ‘You are 100% more than I could ever expect from you’. He gets really – I get kind of emotional of this – I didn’t plan all that. I’m just doing what I want to do, but my dad feels really fulfilled. He’s says ‘You’re doing what I always wanted to do, I couldn’t be any happier’!
Prika: He was our driver in the beginning of the band! Our driver in Brazil.

First fan of the band from the first day. Nice! Seeing that your dad did not like your music in the beginning, Prika, how does he look at it now that you are getting successful with the band?
Prika: Yeah, he likes it since he sees the accomplishments. But in the beginning, for a long time we had some problems with this. Because in Brazil being a musician is very difficult. And now that we can do shows out of Brazil and other countries, he likes it. Because it’s so hard for my father [as a musician in Brazil].

The organization I write for, Grimm, is trying to support the local scene as much as possible. Now that you mention Brazil again, could you tell me a little bit about your local metal scene? How was it in Sao Paulo?
Fernanda: I think in Brazil it’s a very rich and solid scene. Wherever you go I think you will find a very strong local scene. We are a continental country, but sometimes you can go really countryside and there is a solid local scene with great bands with very supportive loyal fans. Actually, I’m so proud to be part of my Brazilian metal scene. We don’t hear more Brazilian metal bands getting super famous because of money and opportunities. But still we have some of the best bands I heard. I’m really proud to be part of that scene. Especially Sao Paulo is huge.

Any bands that you would recommend?
Fernanda: I have like a thousand bands!

Ok, if you would have to give a top three? (laughter)
Fernanda: There are some that people already know like Krisiun. But there is still like Claustrofobia, Torture Squad, WoslomJack Devil, …
Prika: Lacerated and Carbonized… And some female bands too. Like Vocifera, Panndora, Girlie Hell, …
Fernanda: Valhalla, Scatha,…
Prika: Indiscipline,…

I’m gonna need my time to look up all these bands!
Fernanda: It’s worth the search, I promise you!

Thank you! I want to give you the final word. Is there anything you want to share with our readers?
Fernanda: Well, what I always say is keep on supporting the local scene, guys. Keep supporting metal. Because we are the sole responsible to keep the metal legacy alive! That’s always my final message.
Prika: I just want to say thank you very much for everything. All that has happened with us is because all these people supported us. So thank you and all the fans.

And I want to thank you for your time. I hope you enjoy the rest of your day here. I’m looking forward to see the show later. Don’t forget to have some Belgian beers while you are here!
Together: We love a Belgian beer!
Prika: For me the best beer is Belgian and German.

Ok extra question then, since you have been here before. Do you have some favorite Belgian beers?
Fernanda: Our drummer really likes Duvel!
Prika: I just really like a strong beer.

We have some of those! (laughter)

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